Manchester United Treble winner David Beckham has become the third Red to be inducted into the Premier League’s new Hall of Fame.
Our former no.7, who lifted the title six times during his 11 years with United, joins Eric Cantona and Roy Keane in receiving the honour, after a public vote.
A boyhood Red, Becks came through the Academy as part of the fabled ‘Class of ’92’ and made his first-team debut in September 1992. After a spell on loan with Preston North End, he established himself in the side during the 1995/96 Double-winning campaign and wowed the world with a breathtaking goal from the halfway line in the first game of the 1996/97 season, at Wimbledon.
Renowned for his set pieces – he still holds the Premier League record for most goals from free-kicks – Beckham was arguably United’s outstanding performer during the legendary Treble campaign.
A constant creative outlet on the right of midfield, Becks scored 62 goals and recorded 80 assists in the top-flight, before joining Real Madrid in a much-publicised transfer in June 2003.
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Reacting to the award, David told premierleague.com:
“It’s an honour to be inducted into the inaugural Premier League Hall of Fame alongside these legends of the game and league.
“The Premier League was such an important part of my career and life and I’m delighted to be recognised alongside these icons who I played with, competed with and looked up to.
“This is made even more of an honour for me knowing that it was down to the fans,” Becks added.
“This past year or so has shown just how important fans are to the game and it’s so great to see them slowly being able to come back to stadiums because they make football truly special.
“I’ve always said that throughout my playing career and beyond, I’m so lucky to have incredible fans who support me no end so thank you to everyone who voted.”
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So, what does the man himself look back on as his fondest memory from his Premier League career, aside from those six trophy wins?
“Those big rival games we won over the years against the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Leeds – they are all favourite moments from my career in the Premier League,” he said.
“They were intense games with the fans shouting through every second and we were so determined to win.
“Those are the memories and moments I’ll treasure forever as a player and still feel them now as a fan when United win.
“My career playing in the Premier League gave me some of the best moments of my life and it’s a privilege to be recognised in this way.”
Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer were the Hall of Fame’s original members, with Beckham joining Cantona, Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp and Steven Gerrard in being inducted following this year’s fans’ poll.